Council staff to strike over sick leave limits

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The Independent Online
COUNCIL WORKERS have voted to strike in protest at plans to make them pay if they take more than six days of sick leave a year.

Union members at Wands-worth council in south-west London, a Tory authority, voted by 4-1 for a one-day walkout. John Perry, TUC co-ordinator in Wandsworth, said: "The ballot result shows that council workers will not accept this ill thought-out policy driven by mean spirited political dogma. Wandsworth council workers have the lowest sick absence record in Greater London."

The strike will not involve teachers or refuse collectors. The council said the ballot only covered one-quarter of staff.

Wandsworth's average sickness absence is 8.3 days per year; the council target is 6.2 days. A spokesman said: "The scheme is designed to help staff who have to shoulder the burden when colleagues are off. We are still in negotiations with the unions."